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The Clarke University Golf Classic Celebrates 35 years

By Courtney Leonard  |  June 24, 2023
Co-chairs Chris and Liz (Behnke) Brewer, right, hit the links with another couple for the 35th Annual Golf Classic

The 35th Annual Clarke University Golf Classic was held at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club on June 5, and once again offered an entertaining day of golf and camaraderie, raising scholarship support for incoming students from the tri-state region. The event featured morning and afternoon golf sessions for 156 participants, along with an online auction that allowed supporters to participate in-person and from afar.   

This year’s Classic was co-chaired by Clarke alumni Chris ’13 and Liz (Behnke) Brewer ’12 who led the fundraising efforts alongside fellow volunteer Andy Schroeder ’01, ’10M and the staff of Clarke’s Mackin Institutional Advancement Office. Through sponsorship support and auction proceeds, the team raised nearly $70,000. These funds along with proceeds from the Clarke Classic Endowed Scholarship Fund will ensure incoming students will continue to receive scholarship funding for generations to come. 

Clarke continues to be an important part of our life story. It’s where we met and it’s where the foundation for our future success was laid. We could not have completed our degrees without scholarship support and it is very fulfilling to be in a position to give back as a philanthropist, event volunteer, and Trustee to provide scholarships for incoming students who are just beginning their own Clarke experiences.

Chris Brewer '13, Golf Classic Co-chair


Chris and Liz’s company, River City Logistics, led the way as the 2023 presenting sponsor and was joined by many other organizations and individuals supporting the event through sponsorships and auction donations.  

“It’s amazing to think about the collective impact this event has had for the past 35 years. We remain grateful to the event founders Therese Mackin, BVM ’50, Bernadine Giesler ’43, Sonia Hickson, and Babe Bisignano, along with the countless supporters who have sustained the Clarke Classic since the beginning. We look forward to the continued impact this event will have on even more areas of Clarke’s campus in the future,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Bill Biebuyck. 

For the better part of 25 years, this event has supported student scholarships for incoming students, and during that time, the Clarke Classic endowed scholarship fund has grown to nearly half a million dollars. This year, the fund will provide five incoming students from the tri-state region with renewable scholarships for up to four years. 


2023 Clarke University Golf Classic Scholarship Winners 

Name: Maya England 

Hometown: Dubuque, IA 

Highschool: Hempstead High School 

Intended Area of Study at Clarke: Music Education 

During her time at Hempstead High School, Maya England participated in Golf and Bowling. She was awarded the Mississippi Valley Conference All Academic of both Golf and Bowling, NAACP Student Athlete of the Year, and many other awards for athletics. She was also part of the National Honor Society. Maya is delighted to be a part of both the Golf and Bowling teams at Clarke and is getting to know her teammates. 


Name: Alexa Huffman 

Hometown: Maquoketa, IA 

Highschool: Maquoketa High School 

Intended Area of Study at Clarke: Athletic Training 

During her time at Maquoketa Community High School, Alexa Huffman was on the Dance Team and helped manage both the Football and Wrestling teams. She was awarded her varsity letters in both dance and track her freshman year. Alexa continues to earn her varsity pins in dance and track, and will be awarded her captain’s pin for dance this year. She is looking forward to joining the Dance Team at Clarke. 


Name: Riley Kniffen 

Hometown: Clinton, IA 

Highschool: Clinton High School 

Intended Area of Study at Clarke: Pre-Medicine-Biology 

While attending Clinton High School, Riley Kniffen participated in the Honors Challenge and was part of the National Society of High School Honors. Riley is looking forward to joining the Clarke Cheer Team and Clarke Theater. 


Name: Henrey Malcom 

Hometown: Dubuque, IA 

Highschool: Hempstead High School 

Intended Area of Study at Clarke: Computer Science 

Henrey Malcom is excited to be pursuing a Computer Science degree at Clarke. He participated in Cross Country at Hempstead High School and received All Academic Honors for Cross Country all four years. Henrey is interested in the Psychology Club, SPEAK, and the Page Turners Club. He is also working on his Eagle Scout project. 


Name: Abby Pierce 

Hometown: Potosi, WI 

Highschool: Potosi High School 

Intended Area of Study at Clarke: Art Education  

During her time at Potosi High School, Abby Pierce was involved in the Art Club, SADD, student council, and FCA. She was also on the Basketball and Softball teams. Abby is excited to join clubs like Teachers for Tomorrow, the Psychology Club, and the Clarke Student Association. She is also looking forward to going on mission trip and being a part of Campus Ministry.